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Re-use of Public Sector Information

The Re-Use of Public Sector Information


Public sector bodies throughout the UK, create and maintain a lot of information that could potentially be of benefit to the commercial sector. The Re-Use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005 aim to achieve consistency across the European Union on the administration of the re-use of public sector information.

What are the Council's responsibilities?

From 1 July 2005 most public sector bodies are required to meet a number of obligations under these regulations. Obligations are:

  • Transparency and fairness about the terms of information re-use. These terms should be published onto the organisation's website.
  • Provision of accurate notices on documents and the organisation's website about re-use arrangements and copyright ownership.

  • Publication of an asset list providing details of publications that the organisation produces and which are available for re-use.

What sort of information will be available for re-use?

  • Statistics
  • Scientific Research
  • Codes of Practice
  • Health and Safety Guidance
  • Patent Information
  • Leaflets and Forms
  • Official Records of Proceedings
  • Census Information

Will any information be exempt from re-use?

Yes. Information that is already exempt under Freedom of Information legislation will not be available for re-use. The regulations do not apply to all public sector bodies. Broadcasters, educational and research organisations, museums, libraries and archives will not be affected by the regulations.

How to make a request to re-use information

Requests for re-use must:

  • be in writing,
  • state your name and an address for correspondence,
  • specify the document requested, and
  • state the purpose for which the document is to be re-used.

Responding to your request

We are expected to respond to your request for re-use promptly and in any event before the end of the 20th working day beginning with the day after receipt.

Where a lot of documents have been requested or the request raises complex issues, we may extend the period for responding. In these cases we will contact you before the end of the 20 working day deadline and notify you that no decision on re-use has yet been reached; and provide an estimated date by which we expect to respond to the request for re-use.

Refusing a request

If we refuse a request for re-use, we will notify you of the reason for refusal and provide you with details of how to issue a complaint, should you feel this is necessary.

Format of documents

We may make a document available to you in the format and language in which it exists on the date of response to the request for re-use. We are not obliged to create or adapt a document in order to comply with a request for re-use, provide an extract from a document if it involves disproportionate effort or continue to produce a certain type of document for the purposes of re-use by another person.


We may charge for allowing re-use. The total income from any charge shall not exceed:

  • the cost of collection, production, reproduction and dissemination of documents; and
  • a reasonable return on investment.
  • we must establish standard charges and specify in writing the basis on which a standard charge has been calculated if requested to do so by an applicant.

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